The Ultimate Guide To Shrewsbury: Where To Stay, What To Eat And Fun Things To Do
Living in Telford, Shrewsbury is somewhere I spend A LOT of my time. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I spend more time in Shrewsbury than I do in my own hometown because honestly, I love it so much.
But what is it about Shrewsbury that makes this town so special? With the help of my ultimate guide, you will find out more information about this quaint little English town. From history to food, the best time to visit and everything in between, there are plenty of reasons why Shrewsbury is a one-of-a-kind destination that you absolutely have to visit!
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A Brief History Of Shrewsbury
The town of Shrewsbury is located in the county of Shropshire, England. It has a long and rich history dating back to before the Roman conquest in 43 AD. The first written record of the town is from the Domesday Book in which it was listed as Scrobbesburi. The town was strategically important due to its location on the River Severn and played a significant role in both the Civil War and English Civil War.
In more recent history, Shrewsbury has become well-known for its annual food festival which takes place each September. The festival celebrates local produce and attracts visitors from all over the country.
How To Get There
Shrewsbury is located in Shropshire, England. The nearest major airports are Birmingham Airport and Manchester Airport.
The town can also be reached by train with Shrewsbury railway station being a major stop on the West Coast Main Line. It’s easy to reach from both Birmingham and Liverpool, making it a great day trip if you’re nearby!
Best Time To Visit Shrewsbury
The best time to visit Shrewsbury is well, any time! It’s honestly beautiful, no matter the season. Shrewsbury has a temperate maritime climate with mild winters, warm summers, cool springs and bright falls. It can get quite cold during winter but it’s worth visiting as Shropshire holds some of Britain’s best countryside views!
The Shrewsbury Flower Show takes place in August and is a great time to visit if you’re looking for something to do. Shrewsbury also holds an annual Christmas market that’s definitely worth checking out! Of course, The Shrewsbury Food Festival is a great time to visit, too.
Where To Stay In Shrewsbury
There are a few different places to stay in Shrewsbury, depending on your budget. If you’re looking for a hotel, Shrewsbury Travelodge is affordable and comfortable.
For another budget-friendly hotel, The Prince Rupert Hotel is both affordable and in a great location. Right in the heart of the town, this hotel is perfect for those who want to be able to walk everywhere. Be warned, it can get quite loud at night as it’s opposite a number of different bars.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, Shrewsbury has that, too! The Lion Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in Shrewsbury and it’s easy to see why - from the beautiful architecture to the delicious food, this hotel #offers an unforgettable Shrewsbury experience.
Shropshire Holiday Cottages are also a great option for those who want to stay in Shropshire but not spend too much money. Love2Stay, somewhere I’d actually love to stay, is an incredible and unique ‘outdoor’ experience near the main town. They have STUNNING safari tents that I absolutely want to stay in one day! They also have an area where you can go wild swimming, which sounds like the perfect way to start your morning.
If you want to stay a little further out, I recommend staying with Moutain Edge. These stunning lodges and wooden pods are certainly one of a kind! You can read my full review here.
Shrewsbury: Where To Eat And Drink
One of my favourite things about Shrewsbury is that there are SO many incredible places to eat and drink. I feel like I discover a new place every time I visit and I still have a huge bucket list of places I haven’t tried yet. A couple of my ultimate favourites include:
🍽️ Hickory’s: I absolutely love Hickory’s Smokehouse. It’s the perfect place to go for a casual meal with friends and family. The food is incredible - I always order the 3 am Mac and Cheese with maple syrup and it’s such a dreamy combo!
🍽️ Bombo’s: If you’re looking for something a little more special and fancy then Bombo’s is where I’d recommend going. It has the most incredible Asian-fusion menu (I had one of the best bao buns EVER there) and also serves up some fun and unique cocktails that are perfect for a night out!
🍽️ CSONs: CSONs is a little cafe that serves up some of the best breakfast and brunch food in Shrewsbury. I always order the breakfast pancakes with their topping of the day - it’s SO good! My favourite so far has definitely been the apple crumble pancakes.
🍽️ Dough and Oil: If you’re a pizza lover (who isn’t?) Dough and Oil is definitely the place to be. With an extensive menu of delicious pizzas, you honestly can’t go wrong. The décor is also to die for!
🍽️ Cafe On The Cop: One of my favourite places to support in Shrewsbury is Cafe On The Cop. I discovered them during their lockdown deliveries and honestly, they make some of the best cakes I’ve ever tried!
🍽️ Planet Doughnut: Shrewsbury’s Planet Doughnut is a fun doughnut shop that has all the classic flavours you’d expect and some more quirky ones too. During the summer, they also serve the same soft serve that is served at Disneyland! Every time I visit I also get myself a box of four and some ice cream, it’s become a tradition now!
🍽️ House Of The Rising Sun: Shrewsbury’s House of the Rising Sun is a great place to go for drinks with friends. They have an extensive cocktail menu and some really tasty food too. It’s another Asian-food restaurant, but at a high price point than Bombo’s. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth it! They are also right next door to Libertine’s, which you definitely have to check out.
I have a full blog post on where to eat and drink in Shrewsbury so if you’re looking for a little more inspiration, you’re definitely going to want to check that out.
Things To Do When Visiting Shrewsbury
So, you’re in Shrewsbury and you don’t know what to do? No problem! There are plenty of things to keep you busy here. Here are some of my favourites:
Take a Walk Around The Quarry Park
The Quarry is a beautiful park located in the heart of Shrewsbury. It’s a great place for a walk, and there are also some lovely gardens to explore called ‘The Dingle’.
In the summer, it’s a great place to take a picnic and enjoy the sunshine. I’ve spent many days just lounging around here, enjoying the views.
Explore The Town Centre
Shrewsbury town centre is the perfect place to wander around on a sunny day. There are plenty of independent shops and cafes to explore, and it’s a great place to people watch. Shrewsbury has an amazing 660 listed buildings, a large proportion of these are black and white, half-timbered houses that were built when the wool trade was blossoming in Tudor times.
Check out Shrewsbury Abbey
Shrewsbury Abbey is an impressive building with a long history. If you’re interested in architecture or history, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s also a great place to go on a walk as there are some nice gardens and cafes to explore in the area too. If you fancy a cocktail, The Peach Tree is a great place to stop!
Take A Boat Trip On The River Severn (On The Sabrina)
If you’re looking for something a bit different to do in Shrewsbury, why not take a boat trip on the River Severn? The Sabrina offers trips up and down the river and it’s a great way to see some of the local scenery.
The trip is just 45 minutes long and gives you loads of photo opportunities! There’s a bar on board with both hot and cold drinks and if you fancy something a little different, you can take either the special dinner cruises on Tuesday evenings, lunch cruises on Sundays or the ghost cruise on Monday nights.
You can board the boat just outside Hickory’s!
Visit Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
The Shrewsbury Museum is home to a range of interesting exhibits, including ancient artefacts, geological specimens and works of art. It’s the perfect place for a rainy day, or if you’re interested in learning more about Shrewsbury’s history.
Visit the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is a great place to go if you’re interested in the natural world. It features interactive exhibits, an outdoor play area and a nature trail. You can also learn about local crafts and traditions at the centre.
If you’re staying a little longer, I’d definitely recommend having a go at some of the hikes in Shropshire Hills. The countryside in Shropshire is absolutely stunning and not something you’d want to miss!
Visit St Chad’s Church
Don’t miss out on Shrewsbury’s oldest church, St Chad’s Church. It is part of the Shropshire Hills Parish and only a few minutes walk from Shrewsbury Castle.
Go On A Tour Around Shrewsbury Prison
If you want to find out more about Shrewsbury’s history, I’d definitely recommend doing a guided tour of Shrewsbury Prison. The prison is over 200 years old and was built in 1804 as Shropshire County Gaol. If you’re brave enough, there are also ghost tours available and special one-off Halloween events!
Visit Paws Cafe For A Feline Surprise
If you’re a big animal lover and Shrewsbury is on your travel list this year, I’d definitely recommend a trip to Paws Cafe. This incredible place is home to some of the cutest cats I’ve ever seen and for a small fee, you can enjoy coffee and cake with your new friends. I’ve been a couple of times now and I’ll definitely be going back again! You can book a spot at Shropshire’s first cat cafe here!
Visit Shropshire Light Railway
Another must-visit attraction in Shrewsbury is the Shropshire Light Railway. If you love all things trains, this place is definitely for you! There’s a whole host of different events and activities going on throughout the year, so be sure to check out their website for more information.
Spend The Afternoon At Hawkstone Follies
Hawkstone Follies Park is the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. It’s free entry, there are loads of amazing walking trails and it also has an adventure playground for the kids. If you’re looking for a great view of the countryside without a difficult hike, this is the trail I would recommend.
Hire A Canoe And Paddle Down The Severn
If you’re looking for some fun, get away from Shrewsbury and explore the Shropshire countryside. Canoeing is a great way to do so without having to be super fit! There are loads of companies that can help you hire out equipment/boats etc., but I recommend Hire A Canoe as they were incredible when I last visited! Unfortunately, I had a major anxiety attack and couldn’t leave the dock but they were so understanding!
Visit Ebenezer Scrooge’s Grave
I know Shropshire is a big county, but Shrewsbury is the home of Ebenezer Scrooge and his grave. If you’re visiting Shrewsbury- why not pay your respects to one of literature’s most famous characters? I’m a huge nerd, so I love that this is so close!
Visit Shrewsbury Castle
Shrewsbury Castle is a beautiful spot in Shrewsbury and well worth a visit. It’s free to enter, and there are some great views of the town from the top!
Take A Little Trip To Attingham Park
If you’re looking for a day out, Attingham Park is a great option. It’s only about a 20-minute drive from Shrewsbury, and it’s home to some beautiful gardens and architecture. As a National Trust location, you will have to pay a fee unless you have a membership. Honestly, it’s worth it!
Grab A Pint In One Of Shrewsbury’s Many Pubs
If you’re looking for a traditional English pub experience, Shrewsbury is the perfect town. There are plenty of pubs to choose from, each with its own unique character. Whether you’re after a cosy pub with a roaring fire or a traditional alehouse, Shrewsbury has something for everyone.
Give Wild Swimming A Go (If You’re Brave Enough)
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Shrewsbury is the perfect place to go wild swimming. There are a few spots in and around town where you can take a dip, but be warned - it can get pretty cold!
Take A Day Trip To My Home Town, Telford
If you’re looking for a bit of variety, why not take a day trip to my home town, Telford? There’s plenty to see and do in Shropshire’s largest town, from visiting the historical Ironbridge to going shopping in Telford Town Centre.
So, what will you be getting up to on your trip to Shrewsbury? I hope I’ve given you enough inspiration and if you have any questions, I am always happy to answer them!